STATE OF TENNESSEE v. KEVIN PATTERSON AKA JOHN O’KEEFE VARNER AKA JOHN O’KEEFE KITCHEN - Articles

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Posted by: Landry Butler on Dec 7, 2016

Head Comment: With a Concurring & Dissenting Opinion by Easter and a Concurring Opinion by Holloway

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

John E. Nicoll, District Public Defender (on appeal); and Daniel Marshall, Nashville, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellant, Kevin Patterson aka John O'Keefe Varner aka John O'Keefe Kitchen.

Attorneys 2:

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; and Craig Northcott, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): WITT

The defendant, Kevin Patterson aka John O'Keefe Varner aka John O'Keefe Kitchen, appeals his Coffee County Circuit Court jury convictions of attempted second degree murder, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, claiming that the trial court erred by refusing to sequester the jury, that the trial court should not have seated potential jurors who had served on the petit jury in a recent criminal trial, that the prosecutor's closing argument was improper, and that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction of attempted second degree murder. Although we detect no error with regard to the defendant's convictions, we find that the defendant's sentence of life without the possibility of parole constitutes plain error because the State failed to comply with the notice requirements of Code section 40-35-120. Accordingly, we affirm all of the defendant's convictions as well as the five-year sentences imposed for the defendant's convictions of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. We reverse the trial court's finding that the defendant was a repeat violent offender, vacate the sentence of life without the possibility of parole, and remand the case for resentencing within the appropriate sentencing range on the defendant's conviction of attempted second degree murder.